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Wendy Williams has improved since Lifetime doc, sister says: 'She's not the person that you see in this film'

Williams' family members are opening up about the former talk show host ahead of the two-part documentary "Where Is Wendy Williams?"

A tumultuous period of Wendy Williams' life will be on display in the two-part Lifetime documentary Where Is Wendy Williams?, but two of the former talk show host's family members say she is in a better place now and getting the help she needs.

In a new interview with PEOPLE, Williams' sister, Wanda Finnie, and niece, Alex Finnie, addressed her treatment for cognitive issues at an undisclosed facility. "I spoke with her yesterday and I speak with her very regularly when she reaches out to me," Wanda said. "She is, from what I understand, in a wellness, healing type of environment."

She added, "We cannot reach out to her, but she can reach out to us. And she is in a healing place emotionally. She's not the person that you see in this film."

Debmar-Mercury Wendy Williams on 'The Wendy Williams Show'
Debmar-Mercury Wendy Williams on 'The Wendy Williams Show'

Airing Feb. 24 and 25, Where Is Wendy Williams? promises to explore Williams' health issues, including the autoimmune disorder Graves' disease, memory loss, and substance abuse. (Williams is an executive producer on the project.) Previously released clips highlight her increasingly fragile state prior to being admitted to the facility, with Williams screaming at family members and weeping into a pillow.

Williams took time away from The Wendy Williams Show in 2021, citing "serious" health complications, and the program concluded in in 2022. That same year, Williams had her bank accounts frozen after her financial adviser alleged she was of "unsound mind," according to court filings obtained by PEOPLE. She currently has a court-appointed legal guardian overseeing her finances and health.

Speaking to PEOPLE, Williams' niece Alex said that these days her aunt "sounds really great. To hear my aunt now in terms of just how clear she is, just how focused she is on the importance of family and the reality in terms of facing and understanding where she's at physically and mentally and emotionally, it is like a 180."

Wanda added, "I don't know what is working, but I do know that when she did reach out to me, it was a person who is remarkably different than what we see in that documentary."

Positive developments aside, Wanda said the family is unclear why the court appointed Williams a guardian, adding that the court papers have been sealed.

"All I know is that Wendy and her team walked into the courtroom one way, and they walked out, and the family is completely excluded," she said. "How did she go from this aunt or sister that we love and is healthy one minute to this person who's in and out of the hospital? How is that system better than the system the family could put in place? This system is broken."

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